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Steve Jobs' health all the buzz with the press
Doctors who have not treated Jobs say they can only speculate without hard information, but they said the tumor he was treated for in 2004 could have spread to another organ or resurfaced in the pancreas, requiring surgery or other treatment.
Jobs could also be coping with side effects of that surgery that can be treated easily, they said.
In 2004, Jobs was treated for a rare type of pancreatic cancer called an islet-cell, or neuroendocrine, tumor. Such tumors can be benign or malignant, but they usually grow slowly and are far less deadly than most pancreatic tumors.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 37,680 Americans get pancreatic cancer each year, but few get islet-cell tumors of the kind Jobs had. The tumors are easily removed surgically but recur in roughly half of patients, said Dr. Roderich Schwarz, a cancer surgeon at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
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Apple investors may sue over Jobs' Health Issues
Since last June, when an unusually thin Jobs addressed a gathering of software developers, rumours or disclosures about the charismatic CEO's health have sent the stock surging or falling. On the December day after Apple disclosed Jobs would not appear at the Macworld trade show as he normally does, $US5.5 billion in shareholder wealth vanished.
Most of those losses were restored when Jobs said on January 5 that he had a treatable hormone imbalance. But then came Jobs' announcement yesterday that his medical issues were "more complex" than he believed the previous week. Jobs, 53, said he was taking leave until the end of June - and nearly $US10 billion in market value was wiped out.
The key question facing Apple's legal team now will be whether Jobs' and Apple's disclosures revealed enough at each step.
"This is just the nightmare scenario" for Apple lawyers, said Sean O'Connor, an associate professor at the University of Washington School of Law.
The reason is that Apple - like any publicly traded company - is required by law to disclose all sorts of details.
Much of that information is formulaic and issued regularly, like quarterly earnings and top executives' salaries. But there's also something of a wild-card category - "material" information - which lumps together everything a reasonable investor would want to know because it could affect a decision to buy or sell a company's stock. (There are exceptions, such as for trade secrets.)
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Steve Jobs Reveals Truth about Health Rumors
Letter From Apple CEO Steve Jobs
Dear Apple Community,
For the first time in a decade, I'm getting to spend the holiday season with my family, rather than intensely preparing for a Macworld keynote.
Unfortunately, my decision to have Phil deliver the Macworld keynote set off another flurry of rumors about my health, with some even publishing stories of me on my deathbed.
I've decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show tomorrow.
As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority.
Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause -- a hormone imbalance that has been "robbing" me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis.
The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and
straightforward, and I've already begun treatment. But, just like I didn't lose this much weight and body mass in a week or a month, my doctors expect it will take me until late this Spring to regain it. I will continue as Apple's CEO during my recovery.
I have given more than my all to Apple for the past 11 years now. I will be the first one to step up and tell our Board of Directors if I can no longer continue to fulfill my duties as Apple's CEO. I hope the Apple community will support me in my recovery and know that I will always put what is best for Apple first.
So now I've said more than I wanted to say, and all that I am going to say, about this.
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